Oberland Ski Mountaineering Traverse
Level 4 : Guided Ski Touring
This traverse weaves through some of the most remote and breathtaking high mountain scenery in the Alps.
This is a classic high level ski touring traverse, climbing impressive peaks; Grunegghorn (3500m), Gross Wannenhorn, (3905m), Abeni Flue (3962m), and Kranzberg (3666m).
An inspiring ski tour over some of the biggest glaciers in Europe
Spectacular views in a remote wilderness surrounded by 4000m peaks
High altitude glacier skiing with a big mountain ambience
Expert ski guiding and instruction from experienced ISM Guides
Is The Course For Me?
Ski ability required: This is a very demanding tour at high altitude. Prior ski-touring experience is essential and you should be able to make effective turns off-piste in a variety of snow conditions. A high level of fitness is very important as a typical day will involve up to 6 hours of uphill skiing (up to 1400m of ascent).
Big Glacial Ski Mountaineering
This is a ski-mountaineering traverse of the biggest glaciers in Europe, weaving through some of the most remote 4000m peaks in the Alps. Travelling in this area on skis is the most practical way, cutting by half the time it takes to do it by foot in the summer. This expedition takes in some of the most breathtaking high mountain scenery in Europe.
The trip involves ascents of superb remote summits, which are climbed mainly on skis but often involve some general mountaineering using an ice axe and crampons (as well as roped scrambling) to reach their highest points. It is perfect for the fit, all-round mountaineer with ski-touring experience. This trip loosely connects the West Oberland Haute Route and the Haute Route Soleil. Its highlights include big glacial skiing in a remote and wild environment with the bonus of climbing some great peaks.
- Hut to hut ski touring
- High mountain adventure
- Huge glacier scenery and climbing a number of alpine summits
- Develop general mountaineering skills on steeper terrain
- Glacial travel and crevasse rescue
- Planning each day, weather and snow conditions
- Avalanche awareness and route finding/navigation
- Develop your experience in off-piste ski technique
- Enjoy a fantastic high mountain ski experience
The course meets at 6.45pm at the Hotel du Glacier in Fiesch which is easily reached from Geneva airport in just over 3 hours. The hotel is a traditional Swiss Hotel situated just below the railway station.
We take the first lift from Fiesch to the Eggishorn. A long easterly traverse gives us access to some north facing slopes which we ski down to the impressive Grosser Aletschgletscher. From here we skin up to Kondordiaplatz (a massive glacier junction). A 200m (vertical) walk up the steps leads us to the Konkordia hut (2850m - 5hrs). The Konkordia hut is a very comfortable, modern hut and has a bar on the terrace. Any spare time can be spent looking at avalanche rescue protocol and transceiver practise.
We continue our journey eastwards and climb to the fore summit of the Grunegghorn (3500m). This sometimes needs a short ski portage to access the summit slopes. The summit gives great views of the Grunhorn (4044m) and the Ewigscheenfald to the north. We ski down retracing our uphill tracks on the south facing slopes and then climb to the Grunhornlucke (3280m - 2hrs). A short ski to the Fieschergletscher (2900m) and climb takes us to the Finsteraarhorn hut (3048m). The Finsteraarhorn hut has been recently rebuilt and is a state of the art Swiss hut boasting single beds and inside toilets.
A big day (1100m of ascent) which starts with an ascent to the Gross Wannenhorn, (3905m - 4 to 5hrs). This is the most southerly of the peaks that we climb and has great views of the Rhone valley and Wallis. It is a glaciated ski peak and normally gives a good powder descent. We spend another night in the Finsteraarhorn hut.
We climb back over Grunhornlucke and descend to the Konkordia Platz. If we have time we shall make a traverse the Kranzberg (3666m - 4hrs). This peak overlooks the Konkordiaplatz and is an excellent peak to take in on the way to the Hollandia hut. The summit is reached on foot up a pleasantly exposed ridge. Our descent to the Grosser Aletsch Firn is very spectacular and this then leads the way to the Hollandia hut (3240m - 5hrs). The hut is situated on the ridge just above the Lotschenlucke (3173m) and has striking views both to the east and west. The impressive north face of the Aletschhorn (4193m) dominates our ascent to the hut.
Today is a magnificent finale to the trip. We climb the Abeni Flue (3962m - 3hrs). Although not technical or steep, it offers great glacier skiing and brilliant views to the plains in the north and the Valais to the south. Descending back to the Hollandia hut and the Lotschenlucke gives us access to another alpine ski classic into the Lotschental. This was one of the last Swiss alpine valleys to be explored and it certainly gives the feel of stepping back in time, with its museum of traditional Swiss chalets on stilts. We return to the hotel in Fiesch by bus and train in time for dinner.
Saturday - Depart after breakfast.
Maps: Jungfrau 264s 1:50 000
Course Dates & Booking
Meet the Team
ISM DIrector and IFMGA British Mountain Guide
A well known international climber, Steve has climbed and explored all over the world.Read More
Sally runs our UK office, handling course bookings, administration, marketing and accounts. For most clients Sally is the first point of contact with ISM.Read More
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Testimonials For ISM
Hi Eira! It is Maite from Spain again! Just a message to tell you that I spent a wonderful week and that both guides (Paolo and Christian) were superb.
Perfectly paced and tailored, great variety of skills learned. Guiding and Instruction? Thomas was fab! Everything was pitched at the right level (no pun intended), safety was always paramount and everyone had so much fun learning everything.
Thanks for organising an excellent week. The course format, accommodation and set up was perfect. The guide was outstanding and gave us a full week of constructive tuition. I was able to put his training into practice the following week when I met up with a friend and did the Cosmiques Arrete.
R W (2017)
Classic AlpinISM (Instructional Course)